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Title: Advanced karst hydrological and contaminant monitoring techniques for real-time and high resolution applications

item POLK, JASON - Western Kentucky University
item MCCLANAHAN, KEGAN - Western Kentucky University
item NEDVIDEK, DANIEL - Ensafe Inc
item POWELL, MATT - City Of Bowling Green, Public Works Dept
item Antle, Stacy
item NORTH, LESLIE - Western Kentucky University
item Bolster, Carl

Submitted to: Geological Society of America Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2015
Publication Date: 11/3/2015
Citation: Polk, J., Mcclanahan, K., Nedvidek, D., Powell, M., Antle, S.W., North, L., Bolster, C.H. 2015. Advanced karst hydrological and contaminant monitoring techniques for real-time and high resolution applications. Geological Society of America Meeting. Paper No. 218-7.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In telogenetic and soil-mantled karst aquifers, the movement of autogenic recharge through the epikarstic zone and into the regional aquifer can be a complex process and have implications for flooding, groundwater contamination, and other difficult to capture processes. Recent advances in instrumentatal capabilities, data resolution, and understanding of karst systems has led to improved techniques to better study and monitor karst groundwater inputs and outputs across both localized and broad regional scales. In Warren County, Kentucky, several exemplary research sites exist in which to test the application of these methods at cave, spring, and epikarst sites within different aquifer systems and under differing land uses. Currently, at Crumps Cave and within the Lost River Aquifer System, several research monitoring and sampling sites are being tested using YSI’s new advanced EXO II data sondes, some equipped with real-time data collection, along with additional data loggers and sensors by Onset and YSI that monitor water levels in wells, springs, and an in-cave waterfall, meterological data, and ISCO automated water samplers. The YSI EXO II sondes are equipped with pH, SpC, temperature, water depth, turbidity, and DO probes and collect data at a 10-minute resolution at the research sites. Additional data are collected from grab samples that are taken weekly at each site, as well as higher-resolution (ranging from 15-minute to daily) water samples, and analysed for cations, anions, alkalinity, bacteria, dyes, and other parameters. The new YSI turbidity probes also provide the ability to calibrate for TSS and the building of fecal coliform and E. Coli curves that then allows the turbidity data to serve as a high-resolution proxy for TSS, fecal, and E. Coli data. These relationships are being developed for each of the study sites and the network is being expanded in partnership with the City of Bowling Green to also analyze for storm-induced flooding and water quality issues under agricultural land uses, because the high-resolution data have provided new insight to the way contaminants flux through the karst aquifer system. This new method of data collection could serve as a standard by which water resource research is conducted in karst regions affected by both urban and agricultural impacts.